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Dignity, Not Detention: Preserving Human Rights and Restoring Justice Campaign

Join The Advocates for Human Rights in supporting the Dignity, Not Detention: Preserving Human Rights and Restoring Justice Campaign.

More than one year after the release of Dr. Dora Schriro's report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Immigrant Detention Overview and Recommendations, and the second detention reform announcement of 2009 by ICE, tens of thousands of people remain detained. A Report Card released by the Detention Watch Network, National Immigrant Justice Center, and the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights indicates that despite these announcements human rights violations continue in the immigration detention system. Over 30,000 people remain in immigration custody every day in a network of hundreds of jails, prisons, and detention centers sprawled around the United States, as detention continues to serve as the cornerstone of immigration enforcement. Detainees too often face separation from family and from legal counsel, lack of access to necessary medical care or even the outdoors, and mandatory detention with no possibility of release while their cases are being decided.

 Immigrant Detention in the United States: Continuing Human Rights Violations

Nearly 400,000 people passed through the U.S. immigration detention system last year. Incarcerating an average daily population of over 33,000, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operates a web of hundreds of jails, prisons, and detention centers around the country. On any given day, nearly 300 people are in ICE custody in Carver, Freeborn, Ramsey, and Sherburne county jails in Minnesota.

The immigrant detention system has expanded exponentially since 1996, when the U.S. enacted mandatory detention laws. These provisions deny many people individual custody hearings in violation of international treaty obligations against arbitrary detention and the detention of asylum seekers.

In addition, rapidly expanding immigration enforcement programs have driven ever-increasing numbers of non-citizens into ICE custody. Many of these programs, including the 287(g) cross-designation program and similar initiatives, have garnered criticism for their reliance on racial profiling. The rapid expansion of immigrant detention has strained the system, revealing conditions of confinement, including denial of medical care and access to the outdoors, that violate international treaty obligations. No legally binding standards govern ICE’s behemoth network of detention facilities and ICE has been unable to prevent abuse of people in its custody.

The Advocates for Human Rights reported to the United Nations on the human rights violations against refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in the United States. The United States undergoes its first Universal Periodic Review of its human rights performance in November of this year.

How You Can Take Action for Dignity, Not Detention

Endorse the Dignity, Not Detention campaign.

Send an Op-Ed article or Letter to the Editor calling attention to the unprecedented number of detentions and deportations this year.

Plan a community event or house party to screen The Visitor and build awareness about immigrant detention in the United States.

For more information about how you can get involved please contact Silky Shah at [email protected] or call 212-627-2227x245.

For more information about the Dignity, Not Detention campaign, click here

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